I feel a bit like celebrating today. Perhaps it might sound somewhat absurd or illogical, but I am happy to say I received my first form rejection letter in the mail. That makes three at this point. (I almost forgot about the second because the email was one whole sentence long.)
Any why am I not furious or deeply upset by this? Well, a few reasons. First, they all actually RESPONDED to my query. Many individuals in the literary world will bluntly tell you they won't reply if not interested. Secondly, none of them made any negative comments on my work itself. The rejections have a been based on the subject matter not being a topic they would choose to carry. Even without having procured a publisher, I remain content and steadfast in my belief in the project. And several publishers and agents, while rejecting my request of representation, have wished me the best of luck with the manuscript.
So, is it their fault? Not at all. Not only is the book radically different from anything else previously written, the current economic climate makes everyone weary. They're all in this business to turn a profit and when something obscure and without precedent comes along, it's a risky venture. If anything, it's my fault. Not in a negative way, mind you. I'm paving a new course through virgin woods. I could play it safe and follow the path commonly traveled, yet I chose against that.
I still have my options that I am pursuing, with both publishers and agents. I'm not going down without an exhaustive effort. As Cullan advised, I am not ruling out the self-publishing route if that becomes my sole option. Of course, if I do end up doing it all myself, I've earned enough from the past to know how I'll go about it. The cover design will be more elaborate and difficulties with layout will need to be remedied. Distribution will have to be a top priority, as well as free media copies for promotion.
But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, I'm just happy to know that although no one has decided my manuscript is worth the risk, I'm on the right path.